Cutting sugar went easier than I expected, though there were a few days where I was irritable according to Ash. I refuse to believe him, but deep down I know he’s correct. No longer having that emotional crutch makes for a very grumpy me.
Psychologically speaking, it was a lot easier than I expected. As long as I didn’t have sugary treats in the house (I tossed all of our sweets or sent them with Ash to work); I avoided buying sugary drinks (everyone knows that my weakness is a good Pumpkin Spice Latte in the fall); and if I had fruit for any sweet cravings, I was good to go. Every time I drove by a Starbucks there was a temptation to pull in and just give into that PSL craving, but I made sure to keep going and have a few bites of pineapple as soon as I got home.
During the couple of times I did eventually stop at a Starbucks I made sure to only order an Americano*. Before I was pregnant I had gotten into the habit of drinking all my coffee black unless it was a latte, so it wasn’t extremely hard for me to get back into drinking these strong drinks with nothing in them. I think it helped a bit too. Coffee is a wonder drug (and sadly, probably something I need to add to my drop list), and can make a lot of things better when I am grumpy.
I didn’t notice any headaches, though at the beginning of the week I was more lethargic and in need of an extra nap or two during the day. By the time Ash came home from work, I was very ready to pass Jai off to him so I could lay down and not think or move for an hour. By day 3 or so, I had a little more energy and by this morning (day 5), I had even more energy to do my running around without need of a nap.
I also noticed that during my longer run on Thursday, I was able to keep up with my mom and felt less fatigued at the end of it. I also felt motivated to go again this morning (though that would be off schedule). Me? Motivated to run off schedule? This really is unheard of – I hate running.
When I was at the grocery story to make purchases for the family, I did make sure to review all the labels like I said I would: any time it was High Fructose Corn Syrup or unidentified form of “sugar,” I would move along. From my research they said that sugar is hidden in everything and it really is true. Sugar is everywhere. Foods that I normally love to eat, like certain types of crackers or even grab-n-go frozen meals…all contain sugar. I also made sure to avoid agave and honey. If it was sweetened with fruit juice or dates – I would be willing to grab it to consume.
I will have to admit: these Target fruit snacks* were a lifesaver at night when I really craved sugar after Jai went to sleep. But something I am noticing as a I go further along in the week: I don’t feel the need to consume sugary products when I normally do. I mentioned that mid-afternoon and evening are some of my worse times for craving sweets and by Thursday night it wasn’t as necessary. I am hoping that this proves to be a more permanent thing. Having that craving indulged every once in awhile is fine, but I was making it a nightly thing.
I won’t go so far as to say that I have broken a habit. It’s going to take some time before that’s completely done. I always thought it took 10 days to develop a good habit, but in researching for this blog post it is generally accepted to be 21 days. But then I found this: it actually can take upwards to 66 days to develop a good habit. That makes a lot more sense to me. So I am technically 5 days in – 61 more days to go before I have developed the habit of not desiring or incorporating sugar in my diet.
I’ll have to start a calendar so I can mark off the days.
It’s really not that bad, especially considering I actually noticed that I dropped 3 pounds this week. This was unexpected because from what I’ve read, dropping sugar isn’t a guarantee for an immediate weight loss. It’s going to be a long-term and probably consistent weight loss throughout the weeks.
But when you lose a few pounds it really boosts that motivation to keep going. Weight loss isn’t recommended to make the primary focus of everything I am doing, but when done safely it’s a good morale booster.
I honestly think what it boils down to is having a decent attitude. I hate to make that platitude of “being positive gets EVERYTHING done,” but there is a level of truth to it. Making a conscious effort to be positive over the situation and wanting to make the improvements help through most of the tough parts. Keeping the end goal of “I’m going to feel better once the worst has past” helps during the moments of weakness.
I like to imagine that when I am going through a particularly rough “drop” week that I am running a marathon. It’s not about sprinting to the end point, but pacing myself as I go along and taking breathers (not cheating, but moments of acknowledging that this is hard) when I need them will help ensure that I make it to the end point.
I am looking forward how I feel in the coming weeks the longer I get away from sugar products. Will I have even more energy? Will it help some of my MS symptoms? Will I lose weight? Or will I overall notice absolutely no difference? Only time will tell.
Next week: all things red meat. I consider this to be beef and pork products. Moving closer to a vegetarian and then ultimately, vegan diet. I am also not looking forward to this particular food drop. I love me some bacon.
* I did not receive any compensation to link to these products. These are purely my suggestions from personal experience.